CLIMAX SPRINGS, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is in the multi-year process of updating Conservation Area Management Plans and is seeking public input on how conservation areas are important to Missourians. A draft management plan for MDC’s Burnt Mill Cave Conservation Area is available for public review through Oct. 31. To preview this draft management plan and share comments online, visit mdc.mo.gov/areaplans.
Burnt Mill Cave Conservation Area sits 17 miles west of Camdenton and 3.2 miles southeast of Climax Springs. The area consists of 320 acres of oak-hickory woodlands and glades. Approximately 240 acres north of the river have been designated as the Little Niangua River Natural Area. This natural area contains more than 50 acres of dolomite glade habitat and includes a stretch of the Little Niangua River and Kolb Hollow Branch that support a diverse array of fish species within the geographic range of the federally threatened, Missouri endemic Niangua Darter, and another Missouri endemic, the Saddled Darter. The area offers public opportunities for bird watching, fishing, hiking, hunting, and wildlife viewing.
Statewide, MDC conservation areas cover almost one million public acres for the purpose of restoring and conserving forest, fish and wildlife resources, and for providing opportunities for all citizens to use, enjoy and learn about these resources. Most Missourians are within a 30-minute drive of an MDC conservation area.
Conservation Area Management Plans focus on natural resource management and public use on conservation areas. The plans do not address regulations on hunting, fishing, and other area uses, which are set by the Conservation Commission and enforced under the Wildlife Code of Missouri. MDC will consider all ideas received and will work to balance the issues and interests identified with the responsibility of managing areas for the present and future benefits to forest, fish, wildlife, and people. Decisions on which ideas to incorporate into area plans and on how to best incorporate them will be based on the property’s purpose, its physical and biological conditions and capabilities, the best roles of the property in its local, regional, and statewide context, and on the professional expertise of MDC staff.